There is Never Any Trouble Here in BubbleLand…

Needless to say, I was an odd kid.

The Mister Rodgers Windstorm in Bubbleland Opera was one of my favorite things to watch as a child. Just now, I was blowing bubbles in the backyard with my youngest, having intense memories of taking a bottle of bubbles into our garage and singing the songs from that show while blowing bubbles. They didn’t fly away so far if I stayed in the garage, and I spent endless hours alone that way.

It’s a happy memory.

As a child I was unfathomable shy, and other kids all considered me weird. I had some bullying, but for the most part I was ignored. The memories I have now, that being ignored often didn’t bother me. Didn’t want to play with them anyway. Remember wandering around the playground, wishing I could freeze the meaner kids in ice. (I grew up in Wisconsin) Holding sticks as magic wands, quietly talking to myself.

Now I watch my youngest play bubbles endlessly, they bring him such joy. Then the bubble wand becomes a magic wand and he wanders the back yard waving the wand at things yelling “freeze”. He’s a little me, but without the intense trauma yet. I fear it’s coming for him now, if he loses his best friend and siblings. I can’t stop it, I can’t protect him from this possible loss.

I can only hope that he doesn’t lose his joy through this experience. Watching him grow has been windows to my childhood. I want him to flourish, want to see what happens when these genes grow up without intense pain. Need this situation to resolve in a way that doesn’t break him.

For now I treasure his laughter as he catches bubbles. Waiting for him to be able to catch them with all his siblings soon. Hoping. It’s all I can do right now.

Reclaiming My Universe Creating Orgasm – #BOAW15 #OrgasmQuest

The long reclamation of my inner Sex Goddess

As my regular readers know – and now a good deal of the world – I’ve been on an #OrgasmQuest since December. Let me give a “quick” overview for any new readers: My identity has been in constant flux, ever-changing, but two things have been constants. I have Major Depressive Disorder and Empowered Sexuality. I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with a hand on my clitoris. Never shamed for exploring my body, I was taught early on that it was my “feeling good stuff”, it was a private experience and when I needed Feeling Good Stuff Time, I should do so in the privacy of my bedroom. This started my life long love of masturbation.

When I am in dark places due to my mental illness, I can orgasm as a way to remind myself that there are pleasurable feeling to be had. Not a cure for my depression, not a fix, but a tool that I’ve used as long as I can remember to keep myself going. My ability to find pleasure in the darkness saved me more times than I can count.

The added bonus from a lifetime of masturbation is that I have always been highly orgasmic. As an adult, I experienced orgasms that felt like touching the divine. While the label of my sexuality has often been in flux, that I am a highly sexual creäture has been a constant.

Five years ago I became a mother, which changed endless aspects of my life. It’s nearly impossible to feel sexy when your almost dying of sleep deprivation, covered in goodness knows what, your will overridden by that tiny person I created. Again, masturbatory orgasms helped me. I was able to remind myself that while everything else seemed to have dramatically changed, for a few moments I could be blissful.

After my second child, creating a life with my Partner-In-Everything, XVO, and adding his children into the mix – my depression became more than I could handle on my own. I found an amazing doctor and we decided to try an older antidepressant to help me. Oh, does it help me. On Amitriptyline for the first time in my life I truly enjoy being alive. My mental health is finally at a place where I can stay that I’m good.

The drawback is that one of the side effects is Anorgasmia – the inability to orgasm even with proper stimulation. This side effect affects countless people and there is a deep stigma about speaking aloud about how disruptive losing orgasm or libido can be on the entirety of someone’s life. So, I’m fighting back. This medication works on every other level, so I am uninterested in changing medications. I opted to go on a public #OrgasmQuest, and have invited anyone who is interested to read along with my journey.

This brings you up to speed on #OrgasmQuest, but Quest isn’t all that I am doing to reclaim my Sexual Goddess status. Motherhood, parenting, these are also huge stumbling blocks on the path to empowered sexuality. I am a queer woman in an open partnership, so I cultivate passionate friendships as I can. Make time for myself to be something other than Mama, stepping away from my motherhood role and passing the torch to the other parents in our world.

What does that look like for me? I revel in my beauty, my sexuality, through selfies. My career is that of a sexuality writer and educator – specializing in sex toys, so I write here in non explicit but frank terms about my masturbation and sex toy use. I put on elaborate makeup for myself, when I want to feel beautiful and empowered even though all I may do that day is write and clean the house. I make space for intimacy with my love. Flirt with trusted friends. As I work from home, I play with wild hair colors and vibrant clothing.

My universe creating orgasms have yet to fully return. Had one blissful evening when hormones overrode the side effects and I touched the divine again and again, but over all I’m not where I want to be. Most of my orgasms are physical now, vaginal contractions, wobbly legs, but my brain doesn’t experience the pleasure spike. This is progress though, and I have no plans on ending my Quest any time soon.

This may sound to woo” for some of my readers, I understand, it’s a little to woo for me too. However, I do feel a connection to Inanna, my personal spiritual path is close to that of paganism, and she is my Goddess. I am connected to the sacred whore and see myself as one. I refuse to lose this vital piece of my identity in exchange for finally having relief from most of my mental illness.

If you value pleasure, and I do make room for people who do not because that is a valid way to feel, I believe it is your birthright. I know that pleasure is mine, I revel in the pleasures that I can find now, and continue to fight to regain the fullness of my inner Sex Goddess.

Today Was Hard – This is my real life

Sometimes I use this site just to talk about my life, for me. #OrgasmQuest posts are coming, but right now I need to just be Crista.

This is Not a Mommy Blog, but this is a Parenting Post. Sometimes my real life is incredibly hard.

Having kids is hard man, and today was extra hard. You know, I never planned on doing this. Kids just kinda happened. Then I met my partner and became Mommy to even more. All of this isn’t a secret, I plan on talking to them about this as they age because I feel that it is important that they know me as a Person and not just Mama. It’s how I was raised, it’s something that I appreciate and is why I think my Mom and I have such a strong bond as adults. I respect her as a person and as a Mother. Hopefully my honesty with them will lead to the same results.

I didn’t plan on Motherhood. A lot of my friends seem to have planned out their babies from childhood, I always planned on being the fun Aunt with too many cats who lead this weird life. I had fun with that for a while with my Sister’s kids, but then suddenly there was a baby of my own and a marriage.

When I am pregnant? I should not be allowed to make life changing decisions. Those hormones man, they override everything else. The marriage ended, I found my life partner, we built and are continuing to build the life we want. It’s hard though, it’s really hard. A lot of things that aren’t appropriate to share here. Just understand that I’m feeling soft and vulnerable right now.  Blending a family has endless up and downs. Step-Parenting is hard even if you’ve been in their life since birth or toddlerhood.

For reasons I don’t completely understand, our life always seems to be on the highest difficulty setting. It’s wearing me out.

Two bits of news hit me today that just…really fucked me up. Rocking intense triggers, extreme grief, a healthy dose of fear and there is a few hearty dollops of unholy fury within me. My inability to talk about it also infuriates me, but that is just how it is.

While I try and sleep off the day, I suggest you cheer yourself up after this semi depressing post to check out SheVibe’s awesome sales..

 

BEHOLD THE GLORY

A Combination of #OrgasmQuest & Blogging as Therapy

Who I am now, is not the factory standard for Crista.

Crista Anne is Mighty

I am Mighty

This me that you see now, that most of you have always known. This is not who I was born as. Personally, I don’t believe that people don’t change, I know I have. Fundamentally.

This post has been in my head for a few days now, creating itself in my random quiet moments. The times when the shock of everything wears off and I can step back from the chaos that the last bit of my life has been. In those times I’ve let it write itself, waiting for the time when I could sit down and let words fall off my fingertips.

This is not going to be a polished post, because I am not a polished person.

At those point you’ve all heard me say “I came out of the womb depressed, but I also came out of the womb with my hand on my clit.” I’ve left the details of my early depression semi murky, not because I won’t talk about that part of my life, but because I don’t want that part to be twisted or become the focus of the rest of my life, the rest of my Quest. Here it is in rather simple terms.

The Darkest Times:

My Dad, sister and I

My Dad, sister and I

As a young child I suffered a number of deep traumas. Yes, I believe that I was born depressed. That my brain has always had an illness. On top of the “natural” depression, the traumas I survived left me with PTSD. That manifested mostly as intense agoraphobia. I could not leave my house. It wasn’t just that I was shy, I was effectively mute through my elementary school days. A vivid memory for me is one time that I spoke in class, and a peer gasped in shock and exclaimed “I didn’t know she could talk!”. I didn’t have friends, a recesses I wandered around in my own little world alone while kids played around me. Had no interest in friends, other children, other people, they terrified me. Yes, I was that child who wanted books and to play alone.

Eventually my therapists and doctors, because I was getting intense treatment for my mental illnesses, decided that I mentally could not handle being in a public school environment. Thus my homeschooling began. I’ve often said that  was home schooled because I was sick, without disclosing it was because my social anxiety was so intense that I’d pass out from panic attacks at the idea of being around so many people in school. That I hoped that we’d be in a car accident and be killed versus having to go be in intense social situations.

I’m incredibly intelligent. Was home schooled through tutors from the school district, then on our own for my high school years. I opted to get my GED at 17 instead of try to earn enough credits for a HS diploma. At about 16, after years of glorious isolation, I found an amazing therapist who helped me more than anyone can imagine. She treated me on a sliding scale, sometimes for free, because we were in deep poverty but she was making massive progress with me. After two years working with her, I was ready to actually interact with the world.

Came into the world at 17, almost 18, as a blank slate. Had a crash course in social interaction, but had almost nothing in common with my peers. We had none of the same life experiences. I kept most of my first interactions online, in the forms of those early angelfire site “blogs” (though that term hadn’t come into the world yet), and with webcam selfies.

Having been raised in a sex-positive way, I lacked the sexual shame that so many of us have. I lived in a body that was twice the size of the body I live in now, so I had some body image issues, but I was a strange creature. An odd girl. My first jobs were working at hot topic, where I found a delightful group of other strange people to spend time with. (These people, it turns out, were also all Val’s friends, but we narrowly avoided meeting as teenagers many times. That’s a story for another post)

Queer Porn and Side Show Misfits:

I loved taking pictures of myself, I loved “selfies” (but they weren’t called that yet either) and around this time is

See? Told you. The rest of my photos are long gone. One of the few I have left.

See? Told you. The rest of my photos are long gone. One of the few I have left.

when queer porn on the internet started. I was already camming for fun, so I jumped on the idea of getting paid for photosets. Most of the sites I was on are long, long, long gone and forgotten – but NoFauxxx, eventually Indie Porn Revolution, was my main site. Oh, that’s right. I knew Courtney Trouble way back when, though I doubt she remembers me now. I was on that site as “Tryst”. Though queer porn, “Alt pr0n”, I learned to truly love myself, my body and my sexuality. I grew real confidence in myself. My world expanded, I left the house, I interacted with people. Queer porn was really my birth as the person you know now.

I adopted queer porn ethics and politics as my own. Eventually, I moved to Dallas and spent years dating a magician, hanging out with side-show misfits, walking through Deep Ellum fire-breathing for tips and with bands. It was wonderful. I started poly relationships, had my first triad, lived in absurd poverty but had an amazing time. This solidified my desire to live off the beaten path. I couldn’t fathom another way of life.

Sex Toys, Outlaw Dildo Peddler & Sex-Positivity:

Then I found sex toys through sex toy retail. A job I took because they didn’t care that my hair was pink, nor did they have a dress code and I could take as many smoke breaks as I wanted as long as the store was cared for. This is where I discovered my calling in life. Pleasure based sex education and sex toys. These were not progressive stores that I worked in, more your garden variety adult novelty store.

Dildos make me mighty

Dildos make me mighty

The difference between my stores and most others is that at that time, sex toys were illegal in Texas. I was prepped for vice raids. Told that I would be paid 3x my hourly rate if I was arrested until they could get me out. Every day I went to work I faced the very real possibility that I’d be arrested that day. I was hooked though, I loved working with customers to find the right item for them, the risk didn’t matter to me. I was on a mission. I was helping people.

I was also in my early and mid twenties and invincible. Long term consequences of possibly being charged with a sex crime didn’t register to me. I was an outlaw dildo peddler. This is what I was born to do. Made the magical discovery that my anxiety dissipated if I had a dildo in my hand. I could talk to anyone if it was about the store had to offer. I realized early on that many of my customers were telling me things they’d never admitted to anyone else before. That moved me. I took, I still take, that trust seriously. It’s an honor.

As my company didn’t offer much in the way of sex education to their employees, I spent my down time devouring sexuality texts. One day, in the dollar section of half price books, I found Carol Queen‘s Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture. I read that book over and over again until it fell apart. The missing pieces of my identity, the missing bits of the person I wanted to be, were entirely built from Carol Queen’s words. I devoured everything I could find of her words. They became my gospel. Around the same time I met Metis Black on LiveJournal, who amazingly took me under her wing.

I knew of Ducky Doolittle from the cam girl days, I learned of Violet Blue from the early days of sex blogs online. Violet Blue’s Toxic Toys post fueled my passion for safer sex toys. Good Vibrations Guide To Sex became my bible on how to help my customers. Carol Queen’s words were what resonated the most with me. RLNG was the first time I read someone else’s words and felt like they could have been my own.

When I moved up the chain within the chain of stores I worked for and began to have control over hiring, education and inventory, I built my stores on Good Vibrations. Realistically there was only so much I could do while living under the sex toy ban. Educators couldn’t come and teach, we couldn’t hold workshops without fear of police attention. I pushed on though. I did my best.

Time on the Front Lines:

We had protesters. Protesting with the zealotry you see out of anti-choicers. Prayer circles blocking the stores. Stores were vandalized all the time. One of my stores was shot at. I was stalked repeatedly. Some customers tried to negotiate with my boss how much it would be to take me home for the night, as if I was another piece of merchandise. Other times I was assaulted in the stores, grabbed, groped, flashed, backed into corners. At night I had to have armed security in the store with me. That’s before you get back to the point that my job, my career, was illegal. I missed being raided by minutes multiple times.

All of that only made me more passionate. All of that cemented my knowledge that what I was doing was important. That each day I went to work was a revolutionary act. Each time I sold a vibe, I was giving a giant fuck you to the sex-negative world. Felt that I was doing my time on the front lines. Fueled by my foremothers and forefathers in sex activism. Fueled by Betty Dodson. Fueled by Carol Queen. Annie Sprinkle. Metis. Ducky. Violet.

There was very little of sex blogging back in those days, very little online community. Absolutely nothing like there is now. I was in a very remote location as far as sex-positive activism was concerned, I felt incredibly isolated as I fought my good fight. Shortly after the ban was lifted, a day that I will never forget because I collapsed sobbing in relief for hours after I heard the news from Metis, circumstances came up that caused me to leave that job and that life.

Massive shift into Motherhood:

I tried a new way of life, I got married, became a Mom, did some sex blogging and random work within the sex toy world. Wrote blogs under pen names. Sold toys through Love U, which was a venture between Metis and Ducky. I was worn out though, those years of fighting took a lot out of me. Because I was now a Mom, something I never fathomed happening, I tried to keep my profile low while still having some connection to my beloved industry.

Poked my head out a few times, PinkSexGeek did well for a while. Made another re-entrance to the world with dildology200Dildology, but then our personal world fell apart with physical and mental illness taking precedence. Depression and anxiety ate me alive again. I lost so much of what I had gained, falling back into that nearly mute shell of a human I once had been. Over the years though, I had made deep connections with amazing people. Deep connections with my idols. While I was that nearly mute shell, I watched the sex blogging world, the sex toy reviewing world come of age. Grow into this mass that it is now. Quiet, but watching. At turns overjoyed by the amazing wealth of information and connectivity, and horrified by some of what was being put out there.

Again, I pulled myself back up. Scraping and clawing out of darkness, depression, PTSD. Talking with a therapist. Getting emotional support from my beloved and our circle of loves. Being inspired by what my friends were doing. I went back to my roots, I went back to rereading every word of Carol Queen’s I could get my hands on. Remembering who I was, what my passion was. I went back to blogging here. I didn’t promote this site much, life was precarious.

Scraping & Crawling Back Up to Myself & to #OrgasmQuest:

swingsetthumbI kept getting help. Real help. The kids got older, I finally had space to stop being only a Mom-bot. Started recording with Carnalcopia, with Swingset. Met Betty Dodson, who now calls me Sister and emails me to tell me to keep fighting. I got medications again, I don’t have script coverage so medical bills are absolutely financially eating us alive, but I started to get better. Then I got on Amitriptyline, and for the first time in my life I enjoy being alive.

Which brings us to #OrgasmQuest. I never fathomed *this* would happen. I never, ever, ever fathomed that the mute shell of a person, too scared to even eat at a restaurant because I might have to speak to the server, would ever talk over and through Dr fucking Drew live on national tv because I wasn’t done making my point. Because I wasn’t done standing up for myself.

I still can’t believe that happened. I still can’t believe that right fucking now I am on the front page of Cosmopolitan.com. (Maybe not fucking now when you read this, but at the moment of this writing, there I am.) I can’t fucking believe that I’m doing this, that I’m able to do this. That I’m *happy* doing this. Trolling, death threats and all. I’m back on the front lines, defending my passions. I can’t believe that I made it back here, made it back here as the best version of me.

The viral nature of #OrgasmQuest is bound to end soon, but I’m committed to continuing this quest. All of my quests. All of my work, fighting for all of my passions. This post is allowing me to go back through my history for myself and for the people who are now reading me, to understand where I come from. To understand how hard I have fought to get here, and then get here again. Understand how hard I’ll keep fighting to stay here. Not for “fame” or attention, but because I built myself into this fucking badass that I am. I built myself out of Carol Queen’s words, Ani Difranco’s lyrics and a decent whollop of Lisa Frank fantasy.

I did this, I’m proud of this. I’m not letting go. No one is getting rid of me.

This is also my life

Snapshot_2015109 (2)

This is how I’m spending my Friday night. How I’ve spent most of my Friday nights for the last 5 years. Holding one of the babies, this time it’s my oldest, who is five and has a really terrible case of the flu. She’s wrapped in my rainbow robe and has been all day. All four kids now have the flu, three with fevers over 100, two are vomiting. Val also has the flu and a flare, he’s loopy. So I’m running things. Running things with a 101 fever myself.

Motherhood should be recognized as an outstanding spot on a résumé. Today I have juggled the full and complete physical, mental and emotional needs of five people while also keeping up with my paid social media work. Collaborated on a presentation proposal. Six loads of laundry. My ability to multitask, thrive under pressure, is now unmatched. I’ve not taken the best care of myself, but I’m still standing.

I am mighty.

Parenting posts show up on this blog not only because it’s the biggest part of my life now, but because kids are often a natural result of some sexual activities. I’m a sexual being. I’m a Mother. (Please don’t ever call me a MILF though, I don’t find that term empowering for myself.) These identities coexist naturally for me.

Talking about the kids most of today on twitter appears to have lost me a number of followers. I don’t live and die by my follows, but I noticed. I make no apologies about writing about these two “extremes” (though I don’t think they are) at the same time. Sorry, not sorry if parenting kills your boner for me, if it does you’re in the wrong place to begin with.

Writing just to write for myself

Hi there.

@Duncan4242 says " the might of thy rainbow is biblical in nature."  That sounds about right.

I haven’t written just to write in a while, I can tell by how jumbled the words are in my head. Flying wildly between so many thoughts. As I’m feeling better, as the fog of the depression and anxiety is fading, I find myself bouncing between being so thrilled at how good being alive feels and the weight of everything that my depression pushed to the side. While I was deep in the depression, I didn’t really process the weight of poverty. It was taking so much just to be upright, taking so much to be barely present, that my brain couldn’t handle anything else. Now, I can handle these things – I guess. Now those worries are very present, now I actually need to solve the problems I’ve pushed aside.

Ah, Fuck Me

That’s a pretty regular thought as I run through my day. Our life is lived at an absurdly high difficulty base level, this week has been extra hard. We have all the kids (that means two toddlers and two preschoolers) so my parenting workload is massive. Three are various levels of sick with the cold that’s going around here, they have had endless needs. Endless sobbing fits if everything isn’t exactly as they wish at that second. One of them I’ve had ongoing difficulties with, step parenting is tricky and they are determined to dislike me no matter how hard I try.

Meeting everyone’s emotional needs is a high wire act, more so since I’m naturally introverted. Doing it though. Doing a good job even. I choose this life, I choose it everyday. It’s messy, exhausting, but I keep doing it. “Do it for the joy it brings, because I am a joyful girl.”

Though, I left girl behind long ago.

Now, the parenting part of my show seems to have ended. Now it’s quiet so I am going to slip into the tub. Cleanse myself of the stress, the bullshit, the defiance and endless needs. Relax for a few moments.

Then back to work.

 

I’ve been sleeping

See? No sleep for me isn't pretty.

See? No sleep for me isn’t pretty.

I’m sleeping again.

Finally, after years upon years upon years, I am actually on a regular basis getting enough sleep. We’re done with babies. I’m done breastfeeding. The older kids are old enough to understand that Mommy will cut you if you come in all sunshine and happiness at 7am to tell her that “it’s MORNING time!!”  They now go to sleep without too much bullshit, (Samuel L Jackson does indeed read them a bedtime story sometimes.) stay asleep through the night, and do their own thing for a bit when they first wake up.

Most of you will not be able to fathom how amazing this is. Even experienced parents might not completely grasp what this means to me.

You see, I have fibro. Part of having fibro is that, for whatever reason, you jump out of REM repeatedly. An average person my age needs 6-8 hours of sleep? I need 10-12 for the same effect. When I get less, everything breaks down on me. Physically my pain skyrockets. My fog becomes impenetrable. Often I pop fevers because my body just cannot deal. I stumble around, half sobbing, because all I want to do is go lie down but these little people NEED ME every second. It’s ugly, no lie.

Parenthood changes everything. Your body, your habits, your interests, your abilities, just…everything. I’ve adjusted to all of it so much so that I don’t really remember what life was like when I actually dictated my own moves. The lack of control of my sleep? That has been, far and away, the hardest part for me. About ten days postpartum, almost everyone has a horrific hormone drop that throws you into the depths of depression, even if that isn’t usually a condition you have. “Baby Blues” is what most call it. Normal, it goes away. (For most people.) I experienced it with both my bio kids, and with my eldest, I sobbed for days over how I was never going to sleep again. I’d made a terrible mistake, I couldn’t survive with this little sleep.

That sobbing fit pretty much lasted the next 4 years. Co-slept Rawr monster, not out of a desire to share a bed with my kiddo, but only in the hopes I’d get more sleep. Kind of worked. Still, not enough.

Now, I’ve had two months of solid sleep. There are still random nights when they steal my sleep and I end up miserable and angry, but overall, I sleep. Go to bed at midnight or one am, sleep till 10. It’s beautiful. I’m so happy. There absolutely is a tie between my sleeping again and not having absurdly intense depression. Even have lost my guilt thing that came from years in unhealthy relationships that my needing ten hours of sleep was just me being lazy. I need this sleep to be a functioning human, and that’s okay!

Progress. It really does get better.